Annuities

Missing the Shot You Didn’t Take


Annuities

I can never resist talking basketball in the spring, especially around the NCAA tournament and the final stretches of the NBA season. 

 

For anyone who knows me, my recreational basketball skill set is focused on offense, not defense. Specifically, my game is played between the two 3-point lines. I usually don’t leave a game thinking I should have taken a shot but didn’t. A lot of coaches tell players that they will never make the shot that they don’t take. 

 

Recently, one of my best wholesalers posed a question to the rest of our sales team. He asked how often clients wish they had bought something a year ago but didn’t have the faith to make the decision. 

 

Think about how many people wish they had bought a few years ago. And, think about how many had wished they sold it while it was at an all-time high. That’s always the case – clients always wish they had done something a year ago.

 

So here’s my question: What will you wish you had done this year when you look back at your business next year? 

 

One Possible Answer

Pension risk transfer is an opportunity to drive revenue in your practice for 2018 and beyond. However, many are reluctant to pursue this market because it has a long gestation period before you receive revenue or commission. I think there are several reasons to evolve your financial planning practice to include pension risk transfers:

 

  • Current tax law allows companies to make deductible contributions to their 2017 pension shortage at the higher tax rate of 35 percent. This equates to a 14 percent discount for applying contributions to the pension shortage in 2018.
  • With our recent strategic partnership, Ash Brokerage can provide fee income to financial advisors before product is placed and while the company completes the termination process. 
  • More and more large companies are taking advantage of shifting pension risk to insurance companies. Small and midsized companies tend to follow larger corporations, and most pension assets rest with small businesses. 
  • Bond yields will likely change dramatically over the next 36 months, putting pressure on the fixed income portion of the investment portfolio. The same can be said for the recent volatility in the equity markets. It makes it difficult for plan sponsors to manage the risk for investment yields. 
  • Life expectancies continue to increase for older workers. That puts more obligation on the plan assets to provide lifetime income to the plan participants. That translates into more risk for the plan sponsor. 

 

Economic and tax climates make it a great time to talk about pension risk transfers. If you don’t begin integrating it into your practice today, you will likely look back a year from now and say that you wished that you done so. Don’t be wishing you had done something a year ago that is now costing you business. Take a good look at pension risk transfers as a larger part of your business. 

 

Winning Strategy

Don’t look back a year from now and wish you had added pension risk transfers to your business. The climate is ripe to take advantage of a business opportunity that might not come by again. 

Policy Review - 10 Ideas For Existing Life Insurance

Craving More?

Register for our April 19 webinar where we talk how pension risk transfers can be an effective tool for defined benefit plan sponsors seeking solutions for rising costs and longevity risk.

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About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is a tireless advocate for the retirement planning industry. As executive vice president of retirement at Ash Brokerage, he heads a team providing income planning solutions focused on longevity and efficiency. He’s also a thought leader who provides guidance and assistance for advisors and broker-dealers navigating marketplace and regulatory changes. You can find a collection of his blog posts in his book, “Above the Clouds … Winning Strategies from 30,000 Feet.”

Retirement Pension Risk Transfer Practice Management

Why You Must Be Willing to Receive in Order to Give


Annuities

The title might seem a little confusing. The concept of being willing to receive is confusing, at best. 

 

All this month, we have talked about the Go-Giver Laws of Stratospheric Success.1 All of the Go Giver laws are within our control. The “Law of Receptivity” is no different. Staying open to opportunities might seem easy on the surface, but it might be the most difficult. 

 

Take Notice

When I was a child, my parents bought it the Volkswagen Beetle fad of the early ’70s. The little cars were fun to drive and got great gas mileage. I loved the rumble seat in the back of the car where my brother and I rode to kindergarten and grade school. The trunk was in the front of the car while the engine was in the back. So the rumble seat truly rumbled! 

 

The McGlothlin family Volkswagen was a bright orange Beetle. You could see us coming for miles. When dad brought “Herbie” home from the dealership, we thought we had the only orange VW in Indianapolis. But, as we drove around the highway and even around our smaller community in central Indiana, we noticed a lot of orange VW Beetles. I’m sure you can say the same thing for your car. You never really noticed another until you bought one. Then, all of a sudden, they’re everywhere. 

 

Being open to receiving is similar. You’re always looking out for others, solving their dilemmas, and adding value to the relationship. Adding value will always be followed by someone giving to you. You don’t recognize it until after it is happening, just like you don’t see the orange Beetle until you’ve bought it. 

 

Breathe Through It

The natural flow of business is an exchange of value. This is usually done in dollars for service or a product. But, receiving is much more than that. Receiving can be a simple “thank you” for doing something special. It can be a mutually beneficial business relationship. It can come in many shapes and sizes, but you’ll know it when you receive it. And, you must be willing to receive it in order to continue giving properly. In “The Go-Giver,” breathing is used as an analogy for giving and receiving. You must exhale in order to inhale and vice versa. 

 

It’s important to always remember that receiving isn’t a scoreboard – nothing about the Laws of Stratospheric Success is a scoreboard. You can never count your chips by how much time, energy and value you have provided. You can’t think that you are “owed” something in return. Instead, it will flow naturally, maybe even you least expect it. 

 

Winning Strategy

Be open to success. Don’t expect it. Earn it. But always be open to it. 

 

About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is a tireless advocate for the retirement planning industry. As executive vice president of retirement at Ash Brokerage, he heads a team providing income planning solutions focused on longevity and efficiency. He’s also a thought leader who provides guidance and assistance for advisors and broker-dealers navigating marketplace and regulatory changes. You can find a collection of his blog posts in his book, “Above the Clouds … Winning Strategies from 30,000 Feet.”

 

1Bob Burg and John David Mann, “The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea”: https://thegogiver.com/

Receiving Practice Management The Go-Giver Retirement

Now is the Best Time to Be … YOU


Annuities

This is the most incredible time in our industry to be a human … any human … well, actually, you! While there is a preponderance of online software, no one can deliver the value of real, authentic human beings. 

 

Technology competes largely on price. Software can calculate retirement income for less money, or help people manage their own finances for half the cost. But, when you compete on price, you roll the dice. While technology might do some things well, it can’t compete with everything you can do. 

 

  • You can look people in the eye and talk to them about the harsh realities of longevity
  • You can help others overcome the emotional roadblocks to improving their savings and income planning
  • You can explain how everything will be OK if a spouse dies unexpectedly
  • You can protect an entire family and discuss options to transfer business ownerships, retirement plans, and long-held family assets
  • You can ask insightful questions to find the real reasons a person is investing 

 

Our industry’s true value is all of us – the unique individuals who take time to fully understand the needs and desires of our clients and prospective clients. As Bob Burg and John David Mann explain in “The Go-Giver,” authenticity is your best asset.1 Each of us brings a unique talent to the table. You can ill-afford to be another robo-advisor focused on pure numbers, beating the benchmarks by a couple basis points, or having slightly lower fees. 

 

Your clients want more. They want you. They want someone who will look them in the eye and say, “You are going to be fine. We are going to take care of you.” Don’t try to compete against a custodian or a large financial institution – just be yourself and you will find people who want that interaction.

 

Winning Strategy

You are your best asset. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Surround yourself people who complete your financial practice. But, most importantly, be yourself within your network and in your client interactions. It’s your best differentiation.  

 

About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is a tireless advocate for the retirement planning industry. As executive vice president of retirement at Ash Brokerage, he heads a team providing income planning solutions focused on longevity and efficiency. He’s also a thought leader who provides guidance and assistance for advisors and broker-dealers navigating marketplace and regulatory changes. You can find a collection of his blog posts in his book, “Above the Clouds … Winning Strategies from 30,000 Feet.”

 

1Bob Burg and John David Mann, “The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea”: https://thegogiver.com/

Authenticity Practice Management The Go-Giver Retirement

The 2 Keys to Growing Your Influence (and Business)


Annuities

Q: Who do you consider a part of your network? 

A: If it’s just your clients and vendors, you’re short selling yourself. 

 

Q: How do you gain influence in your network? 

A: By focusing on their needs and wants – not your goals. 

 

Influence – in your industry, in your community, with your clients, or within your wider network – requires the same focus that lifts your compensation.  Let’s break this discussion into two key parts: The focus and your network. 

 

Focus

First, in order to earn influence, you must understand other people’s goals and objectives. This understanding isn’t just limited to your business. You have to dig deeper in your relationships to have understanding and empathy for whatever is happening in the lives of others. The last part is something I think is a lost art. Our lives are so complex and busy that so many people affect the way people see the world. Our color of lens changes rapidly.

 

You can really help a lot of people by taking time to understand where they are right now, what’s keeping them up at night, and what would truly be beneficial to them at that point in time. It’s likely to change frequently. All of this goes back to the “law of value,” which states that your worth is determined by how much you give over what you receive. 

 

Network

Second, just like compensation, you need to think of your network as more than the obvious. Think outside of your clients and colleagues – think of people who will become your “brand ambassadors” – people who know you, like you, and trust you.1 How do you build that trust? You guessed it … by bringing value to the relationship and helping others meet their goals. 

 

Your network is endless. You never know the source of referral or an opportunity. So, treat everyone as a part of your network. Focus the conversation on them and learn how you might help them. In doing so, you quickly build rapport and trust.

 

Influence Your Future

By doing these two simple steps, you will grow your network abundantly over time, probably quicker than you think. Growing your network is the most efficient way to grow your practice. Stay focused on others and treat every contact as part of your network. Some will be better ambassadors than others. But, don’t risk the lost opportunity. Take time to get to know other people and how you can help first. Your value will prevail. 

 

Winning Strategy

In every encounter, concentrate on understanding the other person. Look to make everyone an ambassador for your planning services by focusing on them, not you. This leads to quicker rapport and trust, which both are essential to referrals. 

 

About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is a tireless advocate for the retirement planning industry. As executive vice president of retirement at Ash Brokerage, he heads a team providing income planning solutions focused on longevity and efficiency. He’s also a thought leader who provides guidance and assistance for advisors and broker-dealers navigating marketplace and regulatory changes. You can find a collection of his blog posts in his book, “Above the Clouds … Winning Strategies from 30,000 Feet.”

 

1Bob Burg and John David Mann, “The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea”: https://thegogiver.com/ 

Influence Practice Management The Go-Giver Retirement

Compensation Shifts


Annuities

The “Law of Compensation” states that your income is directly related to number of people you serve and how well you serve them.1 Notice that the law does not claim one business model is better than the next. In fact, business model, e.g., fee-based, commission, etc., is irrelevant to how much compensation you earn. 

 

The key to your success or failure isn’t your compensation. The key is focus. It’s about your focus on your clients, and prospective clients. 

 

No matter your business model, you will dramatically increase your compensation by focusing on the number of people you serve and how well you serve them.

 

Let’s look at the first part: the number of people you serve. Common practice will tell you that less is more. You need to work with a smaller number of clients with high net worths. That’s a business model. That model can be scaled to new heights through the investment of para-planners, support staff, and additional planners (which makes a great succession plan for the firm). By reinvesting in your business, you can serve more and increase your compensation. 

 

The next part is about maintaining value in your service. As you increase your number of clients, it’s important not to lose sight of their individual needs, desires and planning objectives. Again, investments in technology, people, and infrastructure can make a huge difference. 

 

A Focused Mindset

Your clients hire you to look them in the eye and solve their most complex issues – retirement and longevity. The level of service you provide is more important than the model you use. In fact, rarely do clients ask about your business model. They care about your expertise, how well they will be served, and how much they feel their goals and objectives are a priority. 

 

It’s inappropriate to choose a solution for a client based on your business model. You have to change your mindset to focus on your clients and what risks concern them the most. If their concerns are longevity and income, you owe it to them to look at guaranteed income options, even if that is against your business model. 

 

Winning Strategy

Maximize your compensation and revenue by looking at how you can help more people and increase the level of service you provide. Both will elevate your business. 

 

About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is a tireless advocate for the retirement planning industry. As executive vice president of retirement at Ash Brokerage, he heads a team providing income planning solutions focused on longevity and efficiency. He’s also a thought leader who provides guidance and assistance for advisors and broker-dealers navigating marketplace and regulatory changes. You can find a collection of his blog posts in his book, “Above the Clouds … Winning Strategies from 30,000 Feet.”

  

1Bob Burg and John David Mann, “The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea”: https://thegogiver.com/

Compensation Practice Management The Go-Giver Retirement